Bees and Butterflies Are Going Extinct, Taking Our Food Supply with Them, Says UN Report

© James Porter/Getty

By Justine Sterling Posted February 29, 2016

The fate of food depends on bees, butterflies and birds.

A new scientific report from the United Nations warns that if we don’t do something fast, pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies and beetles, could go extinct. While the potential disappearance of multiple species is certainly worth worrying about, the report adds that when these pollinators go, so will much of the world’s food supply.

According to the report, three-quarters of the world’s food crops (including cacao so take note, chocolate lovers) rely on pollination—and pollinator species are quickly dropping in number. Two out of five species of invertebrate pollinators like butterflies and beetles are about to go extinct, while one in six vertebrate pollinators like hummingbirds are on the same path.

Along with these depressing statistics about mass bee and butterfly extinction, the report does offer a few ideas for how to solve the crisis. “There are relatively simple, relatively inexpensive mechanics for turning the trend around for native pollinators,” David Inoue, one of the reports co-authors, said according to the AP. The solutions include crop diversification, dedicating more farmland to grassland where wildflowers can grow and changing our pesticide policies.

Want to do your part? Adopt some bees.

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